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Toronto at New York

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Toronto «4300000007101
N.Y. Yankees210001000482

Jays knock Wright around, end Yankees' winning streak

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- Jaret Wright must feel as though there's a bull's-eye on his back -- not to mention his neck, chest and elbow.

Bruised by a line drive again, Wright was ineffective and the Toronto Blue Jays ended the New York Yankees' five-game winning streak Saturday with a 7-4 victory.

"A bat, two balls -- I don't know," Wright said. "When it keeps happening, it's definitely frustrating."

Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano made costly errors for the Yankees, who lost for only the second time in 13 games. Chasing their eighth consecutive division title, they began the day with a one-game lead in the AL East over Boston, which played a late afternoon game in Baltimore.

"The focus is always on this division. We can disrupt some things," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, whose team begins a four-game series at Fenway Park on Monday.

Shea Hillenbrand and Eric Hinske each drove in two runs for Toronto. Wright was chased with none out in the second inning, his shortest start since August 2004 with Atlanta.

Staked to a comfortable lead, Scott Downs (4-3) held New York in check for 5 2/3 innings. Alex Rodriguez homered and drove in three runs for the Yankees.

Miguel Batista struck out Jason Giambi with the bases loaded to end the eighth, bringing groans from a crowd of 53,911 that pushed the Yankees over the 4 million mark in home attendance.

Batista then fanned all three batters in the ninth for his 30th save in 38 chances.

"We have a chance to play spoilers right now. It's fun to play in an atmosphere like this," Downs said.

Wright (5-4) gave up singles to his first three batters, loading the bases and prompting a visit from pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.

Hillenbrand hit a dribbler toward third for an infield single, driving in the first run. Hinske lofted a sacrifice fly to left, and Matsui dropped the ball for an error that allowed another run to score.

Gregg Zaun then smacked a liner right back at Wright, knocking the pitcher off his feet. But he was lucky this time -- the ball hit him on the right side of his chest, leaving Wright with nothing more serious than yet another bruise.

It was the third time this month that he was literally hit hard on the mound. He was knocked out of a start in Seattle on Sept. 1 when Raul Ibanez's liner struck him near the neck. And he left his previous outing Sunday in Toronto after he was hit in the right elbow by a broken bat.

"Three times now, what can you do?" Wright said. "It got me square in the chest. It's sore and tight. It feels like the other ones, I guess."

He threw to first from his knees for the first out of the game, holding the runners at second and third. Visibly jarred, Wright looked down and shook his head as teammates gathered around.

"That's the first thing I thought was, Oh my God!" manager Joe Torre said. "It's just crazy, it really is."

With Torre and a trainer looking on, Wright threw a few warmup pitches, took a deep breath and went back to work.

"I've never seen that before," teammate Derek Jeter said. "Sometimes they say things happen in threes, hopefully that's the end of it."

On Friday night, Torre joked about Wright's recent misfortune and what he expected from this outing.

"I hope that he can catch the ball before it hits him," the manager said.

Little did he know that would be a real concern again.

Wright remained in the game this time, but the results never improved. Reed Johnson's sacrifice fly made it 4-0, and the right-hander gave up two singles and a walk before he was pulled for Aaron Small with the bases loaded in the second.

X-rays showed Wright is fine, and he said the line drive didn't affect the way he threw.

"I had a hard time getting the ball down," he said. "I was bad."

After Vernon Wells popped out, Hillenbrand hit a hard one-hop smash to second that Cano couldn't handle. The ball ricocheted into right field, allowing two runs to score, and Cano was charged with an extremely tough error.

"It was a hard line drive," Cano said. "Came up too quick."

Hillenbrand was credited with one RBI, and Hinske added another sacrifice fly.

Rodriguez's two-run shot in the first gave him 46 homers, tying Joe DiMaggio (1937) for the most by a right-handed hitter in Yankees history.

Rodriguez had an RBI single in the second, cutting it to 7-3, and Jeter drove in a run with an infield single in the sixth.

Wright allowed seven runs -- three earned -- and six hits. Small, who is 9-0, kept New York in the game with 6 2/3 shutout innings and left to a standing ovation -- perhaps earning himself another start.

"We'll have to make that decision. It's not about promotions or demotions," Torre said. "Right now there is no rotation. We're just trying to win as many games as possible."

Notes

  • The Yankees became the third major-league franchise to draw 4 million fans in a season, joining Toronto (1992 and '93) and Colorado (1993).
  • Giambi was back in the lineup at 1B after missing two games with a tight back.
  • Jeter was hit by a pitch his first two times up.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Hideki Matsui makes this grab in the sixth, but an earlier miscue costs the Yankees some runs.  (AP)
Hideki Matsui makes this grab in the sixth, but an earlier miscue costs the Yankees some runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Toronto

S. Downs
IP 5.2
H 5
ER 3
BB 2
K 4
 
Toronto Blue Jays
Russ Adams, SS4220101 .252
Frank Catalanotto, DH3210100 .288
Vernon Wells, CF5110004 .273
Shea Hillenbrand, 3B5112001 .297
Eric Hinske, 1B2012010 .254
Gregg Zaun, C4000014 .257
Reed Johnson, LF3011010 .272
Gabe Gross, RF4010012 .267
Aaron Hill, 2B4120011 .268
Totals3471052513 
Batting
SF - Eric Hinske 2 (6), Reed Johnson (1)
SH - Frank Catalanotto (4)
RBI - Shea Hillenbrand 2 (82), Eric Hinske 2 (60), Reed Johnson (57)
SB - Shea Hillenbrand (5, 2nd base off Small/Posada)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Hill-R. Adams-Hinske
E - Aaron Hill (6, Misplayed grounder)
Toronto Blue Jays
Scott Downs (W,4-3) 5.2543241 4.35
Justin Speier (H,10) 0.2100100 2.60
Scott Schoeneweis (H,20) 1200000 3.44
Jason Frasor (H,14) 0.1000210 3.33
Miguel Batista (S,30) 1.1000040 4.03
HBP - Jeter (by Scott Downs), Jeter (by Scott Downs)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Downs 100-67, Justin Speier 14-8, Scott Schoeneweis 14-9, Jason Frasor 15-5, Miguel Batista 17-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Downs 7-7, Scott Schoeneweis 2-0
Batters Faced - Scott Downs 27, Justin Speier 4, Scott Schoeneweis 4, Jason Frasor 3, Miguel Batista 4
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS2111100 .307
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3123202 .319
Jason Giambi, 1B4000126 .274
Gary Sheffield, DH5010011 .294
Hideki Matsui, LF4010112 .299
Jorge Posada, C5000032 .263
Robinson Cano, 2B4000000 .290
Bernie Williams, CF4110010 .251
Bubba Crosby, RF2110000 .282
   a- Ruben Sierra, PH-RF2010011 .235
Totals354845914 
a-singled for Crosby in the 6th
Batting
HR - Alex Rodriguez (46, Downs)
RBI - Derek Jeter (62), Alex Rodriguez 3 (124)
2-OUT RBI - Derek Jeter (24), Alex Rodriguez (54)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Giambi
E - Robinson Cano (17, Misplayed grounder), Hideki Matsui (3, Dropped fly)
New York Yankees
Jaret Wright (L,5-4) 1674110 6.12
Aaron Small 6.2400030 3.25
Tanyon Sturtze 1.1000110 4.11
Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 37-22, Aaron Small 82-55, Tanyon Sturtze 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaret Wright 1-2, Aaron Small 5-12, Tanyon Sturtze 3-0
Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 11, Aaron Small 24, Tanyon Sturtze 5
Game Information
Attendance - 53911
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Lazaro Diaz, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Marty Foster